Historic Gardening

Learn and Explore

Using the Right Seeds

Any historic garden needs historic seeds to grow the kinds of vegetables the people of that time period would have grown. 

We use seeds varieties in our garden that were available before the 1870s. They're open-pollinated seeds that reliably reproduce seeds with the genetic blueprint for the same plant year after year. (Seeds from newer hybrid plants revert back to one of the parent plants, or are sterile and not reliable for saving.) By growing open pollinated varieties and saving the seeds, Fort Larned is helping preserve genetic diversity as well as exploring the gardening aspect of military life

Lots of cucumbers sitting on a table.
A bumper crop of cucumbers in the fall of 2013.

NPS Photo

The Army got their seeds from seed catalogs or the post trader. Garden crops grown at Fort Larned included: beans, beets, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, onions, peas, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatos, and turnips.

Last updated: July 3, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1767 KS Hwy 156
Larned, KS 67550


(620) 285-6911
This phone is answered during regular business hours. After hours calls will be answered the next day. Please select a mailbox or leave a message on the main extension when the fort is closed.

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